Resources for ESPM4295, GIS in Environmental Science and Management are found on the linked Moodle course page
Materials, Organized Chronologically        Link for the Course Moodle Site

Changes for 2018: back to smaller study areas. More motivation for activities. Combine weeks 2 & 3; change rain garden to only 0.5m deep; remove lidar? or reduce data volume, only tree canopy?

Sept 4 - Data Development

Activities/Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 1 - Introduction and Course Mechanics

Read and understand the Student Code of Conduct and Academic Integrity

Read the Semester Project Description, to get an idea of what we're heading for over the next 15 weeks, and look at the Rainfall Mitigation description and the Met. Council Summary for additional motivating information.

Before the end of class on Wednesday, sign up for one of the project areas on the St. Paul Campus (blank sign up sheet)

Activate the MNGEO web mapping service (WMS) in ArcMap (see video "Using WMS" in the Resources column, to right), inspect the Campus project area you were assigned. The address for the WMS is, but you should read the general MNGEO WMS specification and site for a description of the images. We're in Ramsey County.

Pick one of the high-resolution image data sets, leaf off, we suggest the 2016 cir 7-county in the Twin Cities set for leaf-off data, but since the roads haven't substantially changed their alignments in decades, leaf-off images from the early 2000s will be adequate.

Create a practice geodatabase in NAD83(CORS96) UTM Zone 15 coordinates. Create a feature data set and two feature classes, as described in the following paragraphs.

The first feature class should contains a point data set. Open ArcMap and display an WMS of campus and digitize points on the St. Paul Campus for 1) the water tower behind Green Hall, 2) St Paul student center, and 3) The old power plant smoke stack, near the south end of campus.

The second feature class should be a polygon layer that defines the boundary of your chosen study area.  Use the images in the handout as a guide for the approximate boundaries of your study area. Most boundaries consist of roads. Load a WMS image (see resources at right), and create a polygon that follows these roads, including at least the middle of the road on the outside edge of your study area. Where it is a field edge or other non-road features, follow the "natural" boundaries, e.g., fence line, ditch, or parking lot edges. Consult Paul or Andy if you have any questions on boundary location. Do this boundary carefully, you'll be using it later in the semester.

Create a map with an image background, your digitized points and study area boundary, your name, a title, scale bar, and north arrow, and export as a pdf.

Next week, before Monday's class you must submit the map of your data, and the GDB or MDB file as a .zip archive, or similar common archive (e.g., .tar). If you do not know how to do this, see "How to Zip/Unzip" in the Resource column to the right.

If you cannot create a geodatabase, or are a bit fuzzy on digitizing in ArcMap from when you last learned it, or creating a map, then you should review the intro digitizing materials, in the resources column at right. We'll expect you to be able to create geodatabase layers and digitize into them quickly and easily for next week's exercise. 

If you're still lost after you've reviewed digitizing videos, and attempted a few times, ask Andy or Paul for help.

Generally, deadlines for the current week's work are described in this column Turn assignments in on the Course Moodle Site, unless specified otherwise.  Some activities are due in the same week as assigned, but typically assignments are due a week after being introduced.

All assignments due on Moodle, unless specified otherwise

By end of Wednesday's class,  our first meeting, you must:
Sign up for Study Area


Prior to class Next Monday, before the start of class, turn in your:

  1. Geodatabase with a feature class for the three digitized campus points, and a feature class for the study area boundary, and 
  2. Your pdf map.

Rules to follow when turning things in:

  • Unless otherwise specified, submit all data as .zip or similar compressed GDB or MDB formats. 
  • Submit maps as pdfs
  • Include your initials at the start of your files, and a W# where # is the week at the end of the filename.  For example, I might name my map "pvb_practicemap_W1.pdf", my geodatabase "pvb_practice_data_W1.gdb" and my zip file "".

Failure to follow this naming convention for compressed and component files may result in a deduction.

Next Monday before class is a hard deadline, you should turn in what you have. This class moves at a fast pace, and you can't be neglecting new work.  Once the deadline has passed, you will receive a 50% deduction from your graded score, and after the next class meeting, zero points. Unless noted otherwise, this will be our policy for assignments. If you're traveling out of town for another committment, pre-clear tardy submissions.

Course files are on the L:\ drive accessible from the computers in 35 Skok Hall, under the CFANS\LABS\ESPM4295W directory. Below we'll refer to the subdirectory as CLD for "Course Lab Drive"

Introduction Slides

How to access lab files via VPN

How to Zip/Unzip

Using WMS

Assigned study areas

Quick Guides for Using ArcGIS at home:
1) Install Citrix & Class Shared Drive for ArcGIS via a browser

2) Video on Using VPN,Shared Network Drive and CFANS Citrix Desktop

3) Set up stand-alone ArcGIS on your home computer 

Review materials:

  • Intro digitizing videos, from FRNM3131

Sept 11

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 2 - NSSDA accuracy exercise

The quality of your analysis is limited by the quality of your original source data. We'll build our databases from the "ground up" in this class, so a first step is to assess the source material, here UAV images.  You will do this by comparing the coordinates from a set of high accuracy GNSS (GPS) points to the coordinates on a set of images. The image data are on the class drive, the coordinate data are linked in the Resources column to the right for this week, and the NSSDA spreadsheet may be downloaded from links in the Resources column, or below.

Throughout this class we'll be collecting data by digitizing from aerial photographs, located on the class L drive, under 4295W\CampusImages. Your goal is to assess the geometric accuracy of source images. In this class we will be pulling data from images from  2015, 2016, and 2017, leaf on photos,  and leaf-off for 2017. In this week's exercise, we'll do an accuarcy assessment of the 2017 leaf-off image ONLY. 

The process involves extracting coordinates for well-defined, visible points on the image, and comparing them to "true" GNSS coordiantes collected for those same points. The location differences for the same point will define an error, and we'll do several points to get error statistics.

ESPM4295 students will be provided with "true" GNSS coordinates in a shapefile (see resources at right), it is a bit too much to require GNSS collection. We offer an entire course on GNSS, ESPM3031/5031, in the Spring semester.  If you want to learn some high-accuracy GNSS skills, and you know won't be able to take that class, then you can use GNSS to collect points as extra credit exercise. Talk with Andy or Paul if you're interested.

Display and view the three sets of photos available for this class on the class L drive, ESPM4295W directory, in the CampusImages folder. There are UAV/drone based photos for three years, with the names indicating the year.  We'll be collecting most data from 2017 leaf-off images, but building lean and trees obscure some features on these images, so the other images may help. It is common to work with images across several time periods, but beware, the surface may have changed between 2015 and 2017, so interpret carefully. 

If you are going to work outside the lab (you have access to ArcGIS at home or in another office), you may wish to copy the high resolution image files to a USB or similar portable drive before leaving today. While an alternative is to use the instructions on how to access files over a VPN, in last week's resources, to copy over the internet, this may be unbearably slow if you don't have a very fast internet connection, with large files prone to hiccups and restarts during download.

We've provided a shapefile with a set of points that have been accurately measured with GNSS (Resources column, on right), and a small thumbnail picture that shows where the point was located. Each GNSS point will have columns in the attribute table containing the northing and easting coordinates in the target NAD83(CORS96) UTM zone 15N coordinate system. We will assume these GNSS coordinates are the true values. Note that when the data layer is loaded onto your aerial image, the GNSS points will fall near, but usually not on, the same location as the thumbnail image.  This is because of error in the images.

You need to identify the location on the image that correspond to the GNSS "truth" points, and extract the image coordinate values for that location. You will then enter these into the NSSDA spreadsheet. The difference between the "true" GNSS coordinates and the image coordinates will define an error at each point.  It is best to create a new "test" point layer, digitize points, and then extract the image x and y (or E and N) coordinates to table columns via "calculate geometry" (see Resources column, at right). You then enter the GPS point coordinates (truth), and the corresponding image coordinates (test) into the NSSDA spreadsheet.

Note that some of the points will be outside your study area. Collect the coordinates for all the points you can that fall in your study area, then work outwards until you have at least  20 points.

After collecting 20 or more point coordinates, fill in the NSSDA spreadsheet (blank downloadable here, and handbook here, and turn it in before class, next week.  You will have need to perform an accuracy assessment ONLY for the 2017 leaf-off image.

NOTE that you should check the calculated average error values in your NSSDA spreadsheet, because of the way the spreadsheet is written, the calculations may be incorrect depending on how you edit the spreadsheet (hazard shown here). Look at the individual errors, and then the average error.  This is a good example of needing to clearly understand a downloaded file or utility. If your average error is calculated incorrectly, you will not receive full score for this exercise.

You must turn in the NSSDA spreadsheet and your digitized test point shapefiles before Monday's class next week.

By next Monday, before the start of class, turn in: 

  1. The NSSDA spreadsheet, and
  2. A geodatabase with the layer you digitized for your 15-20 test point locations.

The geodatabase must be zipped/archived. Remember to follow the naming convention, i.e., include your initials at the end of the component files, and week designators in the file name, as described in last week's deadline section. For example, I might name my accuracy spreadsheet something like pvb_NSSDA_W2.xls, and the zip file something like

Accuracy Assessment Slides

Link: Individual point descriptions, overview map and shapefile of GPS points for NSSDA accuracy assessment

Template Spreadsheet in CLD\NSSDA, and downloadble here.

NSSDA handbook, downloadable here.

Review materials:

Sept 18 

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 3 - Additional Image Evaluation, Written Report

Assess the positional accuracy of the 2016 image, including an NSSDA spreadsheet. Also assess the 2015 image visually. Although you don't need to do a NSSDA spreadsheet for the 2015 image, you need to inspect it against the 2017 leaf-off image, and see how well the features line up. Specifically,

  • Where are there large differences in features between photos?
  • How much of the differences between years is due to construction, real change on the ground, vs. variability in spatial data collection?
  • For areas without new construction, do the roads and sidewalks match across images?
  • Do the building footprints match? 
  • Are the displacements for all images of about the same magnitudes and direction across your study area?  
  • If the building mismatch is worse than the ground features, what are likely causes?  

You should write a report that summarizes your quantiative accuracy assessment of the 2016 and 2017 images, and comments on the 2015 image.
The target audience is another user of these images, who needs information on their quality for digitizing features. 

You should iinclude about three to four pages of double-space text (not counting title, figures, or tables), a 10 or 11 point Ariel or Times New Roman font, and one-inch margin all around. Your report should also include a printed table of the completed NSSDA spreadsheet you did last week, an overview map with your test points, and one or more figures illustrating your findings on the relative error of the 2006 and 2016 images compared to the 2015 image.

Your report should include a brief introduction, brief methods, and results/discussion. Your methods should include a graphic of your workflow (see using, in the resources column at right). Your discussion should describe the basis of your data and NSSDA spreadsheet methods, general charactersitics of the tested image, your observations on error in the additional images relative to the tested image, and which image you thought most useful and reliable for extracting the storm sewer locations. 

Read the "General Guidelines for Writing" and the "Writing Hints" pdfs in the CLD\Writing directory, as you'll be submitting several reports in this class. 

You are encouraged to turn in up to three drafts of your report, 1) your initial draft, 2) a second revision, in which you've improved the completeness, organization, logic, and flow, and 3) a final draft, with improvements in grammar, figures, formatting, and wordsmithing. We'll grade the final draft first, but if it isn't perfect, you may get additional partial credit if you show improvement through drafts.

All drafts of the report are due before class, at the start of next week. 


By next Monday before the start of class, turn in:

1) your NSSDA excel spreadsheet for the 2016 image

2) your accuracy assesment report. Make sure you include in your report:

  • the NSSDA spreadsheets as tables embedded in the document, NOT as distinct documents, 
  • an overview map of your campus test points with a background image, and
  • any other images/figures/maps you need to characterize the relative error of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 leaf-on images. 

You can turn in up to three drafts, and you will get additional credit by demonstrating improvement between drafts.

If you turn in three drafts, compress them into one common zip file, and identify them with a D1, D2, and D3 in the name, e.g., pvb_D1Report_W3.doc.

Review materials: 

Sept 25

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 4 - Project Geodatabase Creation, Digitizing, Topology 

Create a Geodatabase for your project area, containing the layers listed below. Review topology editing/digitizing in ArcMap as needed (videos on right), and begin digitizing for your project area, interpreting features from the aerial images, using the 2017 leaf-off as your main source, and supplementing with the other images as they appear helpful.

Your geodatabase should include:

1) A "Landcover" polygon layer that will hold sidewalks, plazas, grassy, forest, and shrub/flower bed areas, basically all road, non-building areas in your project area. Include a text attributes for this layer named material specifying asphalt, concrete, grass/forb, shrub, soil, or other.

2) A "Building" polygon layer to hold all building footprints, with an attribute for the name (text), height (float, height in meters, with room for at least 1 decimal place), and roof type (categorical, with flat, low pitch, and steep pitch as categories).

3) A "Storm Sewer" point layer of all storm sewer grates. You can start with the data provided at right in Resources column, importing into your geodatabase the indicated layer, and then modifying as needed. It should have a column named verified (1 character text, holds either Y or N) that records if it has been field visited and verified (we'll do this verification in Week 6). 

4) A "Canopy" polygon layer of your tree canopy, with attributes for tree type (text) as conifer or broad-leaved, height (float, at least 1 decimal), and if the type has been verified (1 character text, Y/N).

5) If you have any, a layer that includes polygons of stormwater ponds, lakes, raingardens, or other infiltration areas, with a text attribute for type.

6) A "Boundary" layer that includes your study area boundary - you should import the one you digitized in week 1.

7) Layer topology, with, topological restrictions as:

  • Land Cover and Buildings must not overlap,
  • Land Cover polygons must not have gaps (except the holes created by Buildings) 
  • Storm Sewer Grates must not be contained in Buildings
  • Buildings and Land Cover must not overlap with Stormwater Ponds
  • All layers must be contained within your Study Area Boundary

Digitize a point layer of  all the storm sewer drains for your study area, based primarily on what you can see int the 2017 leaf-off image. Do this into the geodatabase you created.  Do NOT digitize INTO THE EXISTING storm sewer layer.

Start with the 2017 leaf-off image, but you may also use the 2015 and 2016 images to look in areas where buildings, trees, or other features obscure the ground in the 2017 leaf-off image. Beware of construction and changes in roads and storm drain  locations in the earlier images.

There are errors in labeling, omission, and comission in the provided sewer grate data layer (see Resources column, at right). Most points in that file are near, but  not on the grate locations, some grates are missing, and there are points for grates that have been moved or modified. It is primarily provided to get you started.  You don't need to verify the grates in the field this week, but will in the future, so if you have time, you might want to print off an image or two and verify a few grates in the field.

Digitize All Layers in a Test Area. You should digitize ALL layers for a test area, approximately 10% of your study area, and test the topology rules for that digitized area. Pick a test area with trees and buildings, as some of the study areas have no trees or buildings over a large portion of their extent. 

You need to turn in an initial, mostly empty geodatabase on Wednesday of this week, including topology with all complete rules, your previously digitized study area boundary, and your current progress on storm sewer grates, before the start of class. Don't worry that you don't have much  of your test area data digitized before class on Wednesday, or only a few storm sewer grates, turning it is is to ensure that you've created the geodatabase and started digitizing, and can make progress starting Wednesday.

You will turn in your completed storm sewer grates data set before Monday's class next week, and progress on your 10% sample area. You should have the 10% area completely digitized, but you don't need to complete the topology/cleaning editing for this assignment...but you should start it. You must turn in your data in a zipped geodatabase, as described in the deadline column, and PDF maps of the sewer grates and 10% test for your study area with an appropriate image background.

THIS WEEK, before start of class on Wednesday,
turn in your geodatabase with empty feature classes for the 6 layers, and completely specified topology rules.

Next Monday, before the start of class, turn in the same geodatabase as above, to which you've added your study area boundary, your digitized sewer grates for your entire study area, and progress on all the other layers for your 10% test area.

You should also turn in two pdf maps,
1) of the completed storm sewer point layer, with your study area boundary, an image background, and all the usual map elements (title, name, legend, scale, north arrow), and

2) a pdf map of your 10% test area, with the usual map elements.

Remember to use our standard naming convention (initials on the front, week on the back of the name), and zip up your data into an archive.

Weekly Slides

Storm Sewer Catch Basins and Lines 
Storm sewer file for download here

Note that the sewer grate inlets are in the point data file named Catch Basins.

There are several types of features in the point file. The item MN_TYPE in the table notes Catch Basins, with a value of CB. You can ignore all the features with something different than a CB value for MH_TYPE. However, some of the CB points are NOT below sewer grates, so you'll have to eliminate some. In addition, some new grates will have been added, and some will have been moved, so you'll have to verify each grate in the field as an exercise in a couple of weeks.

Notes on Topology

Strategies for digitizing  - NEVER digitize the same line twice, beware overlapping areas

Editing, see the intro videos provided in Week 1, and: 

  • Intermediate digitizing videos, from FNRM3131

 More videos on topology, a bit repetitive from what's been provided, but perhaps may help: 

-Topology concepts
-Create topology,
-Applying topology, identifying topological errors,
-Correcting errors example 1,
-Fixing topological errors example 2

Finally, a general way to find tools that you know exist, but can't seem to find in the ArcMap toolbox
-Search for Tools

Oct 2

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 5 - Complete All Layers for your 10% area, Edit to "Clean/Remove" all Topological Errors, and Digitize Canopy for your Entire Study Area

Complete digitizing your sample area (remember, about 10% of your study area), and verify and fix topology, keeping the data logically consistent across layers. Your data should be topologically "clean," with all "real" errors fixed, before you turn it in, but if it isn't, turn in progress by the deadline.

Digitize all polygons for your canopy data layer (you don't need to complete the height attribute) over your entire study area. Digitize individual tree crowns, even when they touch or overlap - don't digitize groups of trees as one big blob. You need to assign heights to each tree, so in as much as you can, identify single trees when they are grouped.

Use the 2017 and previous leaf-on images.  Note that the 2015 and 2016 images were during partial leaf-off, and that you may also need to use the most recent MNGEO WMS leaf-on images.

Create a map that contains only your 10% sample area, showing your data layers, and display the "clean" topology, that is, after topology checks and fixing any errors. Be sure to include the topology  and participating layers in your PDF map.

Create a map that shows the tree canopy polygons

Next Monday, before the start of class turn in:

1) Your completed geodatabase for your 10% sample area, all layers (Land Cover, Buildings, Storm Sewer Grates, Canopy, Study Area Bound, Ponds and other Collecting Areas, if you have them). Note that you your tree canopy polygon layer should be completely digitized, although the attributes may not be complete.  Also turn in:

2) the PDF map showing only your sample area (not your entire study area) illustrating the same.

3) a PDF map of the tree canopy polygons

Observe the usual requirements for the map elements, all data maps in one archive, and archive naming and submission.

Editing admonition 

Oct 9

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 6 - Tablet Data Collection - Field Work, and Digitizing

Modern GIS data collection includes electronic verification and logging. This week you'll use electronic forms and verify/attribute data. We'll take our database into the field, and verify the surface type and canopy type layers. 

Complete the Field Verification Exercise  - verify two layers, sewer grates, and tree canopies

Digitize Buildings for your entire study area
Complete the Buildings data layer for your entire study area - including all attributes, except for the height attribute, and

Continue working on the remaining layers in your geodatabase for your entire study area, particularly the Landcover layer.


Next Monday, before class,
turn in 

  1. geodatabase, with the verified attributes for the sewer grates and the tree canopy, 
  2. a map of your verified data layers, showing the verified vs unverified features (labeled/legend)
  3. a map of your buildings, with an image background and your study area boundary, and the usual map elements


Weekly Slides

Field Validation Exercise

Oct 16

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 7 - LiDAR -  reclassify & extract heights for buildings and tree canopy

Water absorption depends on canopy height, with larger trees intercepting more. The simplified runoff calculations you're using are based on threshold heights. You'll use LiDAR to extract these heights.

Introduction to LiDAR Exercise

LiDAR reclassification and height calculation for your project area.

Continue digitizing on the Land Cover and other layers

Next Monday, before class, turn in:

  1. Geodatabase with you canopy and building layers updated with LiDAR heights, and
  2. Two maps, one of your buildings, the other of your tree canopy polygons, with heights labeled. Include an image background, and all the usual map requirements

LiDAR Intro



Oct 23  

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 8 - Soils Data, Complete Landcover Geodatabase Progress

Complete the exercise Soils data download 

Read the instructions and download soils data for your study area, and condition it so that it is useful for your analysis.

Slides for Soil Download

Complete digitizing your landcover and other data layers, and cleaning/fixing topology errors across all layers

Next Monday, before class, turn in:

  • Your geodatabase, with the soils data layer and your completed layers, including landcover, buildings, and canopy, and grates

Create two pdf maps of vector data

  1. a first map with your conditioned soils data. display the soils data symbolized with the absorption values assigned.  Include your study area boundary, roads, sidewalks, parking lots, and buildings on top of the soils layer. Label each building by name.
  2. a second map with landcover, buildings, forest canopy, and sewer grates. Label each building by name, and include distinct colors for different landcovers.

Oct 30

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 9 - Watershed Definition

Calculate Watersheds for your Study Area
Create watersheds for all sewer grates that drain more than 5,000 square meters in your study area.

Creating watersheds was covered in FNRM3131/5131, taken by most folks in this course, so we won't provide specific step-by-step instructions. There are videos and pdfs in this week's resouces section that cover the steps.

Prior to filling the DEMS, you should run the SINK function in the ArcToolbox->Spatial Analyst->Hydrology tools in ArcMap. This will show the general extent of sinks, and you may then use the inquire cursor over the sink regions to identify the depth of most sinks. This will be useful in setting the depth for the fill process.

You will use the sewer grates as your pour points/outlets for your watersheds. Note that because the DEM contains some error, the flowpaths won't intersect many of your sewer grates, but only run near.  You should create a copy of your true sewer grate locations layer, and modify this copy to move the grates to fall on the appropriate nearest flowpath.  Make sure you work on the copy.

Include these watersheds and the corresponding pourpoint layer as part of your geodatabase you turn in next Monday before class.

Create and turn in a PDF map with an image background that shows your study area boundary, the pourpoints, watersheds as semi-transparent overlays, along with all the title, name, and other basic map elements. 

By next Monday, before class, turn in:

  • your completed geodatabase, all layers, including watersheds
  • your watershed map

    Note that you will be graded on both the completeness and accuracy of the data in your geodatabase. Your topology should be included in your geodatabase. You must have all data digitized, and should have very few topological errors.

Monday Slides 


DEM fill, sinks, flow direction, flow accumulation

Snap pour points (grates), Watersheds

Excerpt from Hydro Processing lab in 3131/5131

1st student Hydro Processing 1 Report

2nd student Hydro Processing Report

Nov 6


Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 10 - Project Roadmap

Monday in Class - we'll discuss the overall project, analysis, and output. 

Carefully re-read the semester project description provided in the first week, and begin developing your flowchart of analysis. You need to think about  the spatial operations and order in which they'll be applied, represented by a box and arrows diagram you'll apply. 

Re-read the project description before class, and come prepared to ask questions about anything that's not clear.

Review the flowchart on the right, and fill in missing steps and specific details so that it may serve as a roadmap to your analysis, i.e., the actual name of the ArcMap tools you'll use, and the input data for each tool. Complete the Flowcharting exercise

We will provide you with campus wide data very similar to those you have been developing. All work from here forward will be using these campus-wide data, and NOT those that you have developed.  The data are available on the class lab drive, and via a zip file to the right, in Resources.

You may have to modify the data layers a bit for your analysis, e.g., re-calculate the watersheds, move the drain pour-points, and modify a few attributes, but these are relatively minor.

Your task is to estimate the runoff as described in the semester project document, for various storms under current landscape conditions, and after modifying tree canopy, landcover, buildings, and underground storage to mitigate rainstorms.

We will discuss an example flowchart, and provide a refresher on the raster calculator, raster to vector conversion, and some background for the specific problem.

You will have to apply flowchart or an alternative one you develop to your data to come up with your base runoff estimates for various storms.

We'll also discuss Model Builder, an ArcGIS tool for automating processing, that you should strongly consider, as it will save time in repeat processing with changed data.

By next Monday, before class, turn in:

  1. your expanded flowchart, with expanded detail.
  2. Your completed, edited, topologically correct geodatabase
  3. A total of four maps, all with image backgrounds and your study area boundary, including:
  • Your landcover and buildings, with buildings labeled, and each landcover type with a distinct color
  • Canopy, colored by height
  • A hydrology map with watershed outlines (not filled, so we can see the air photo below), pourpoints/sewer grates, vector flowlines, and buildings
  • Soils data, with watersheds (unfilled) and flowlines on top.

Week's Slides

Example flowchart

Flowchart description

ModelBuilder description and assignment (optional, extra credit) 
read and understand, optional for undergraduates to turn in the assignment, but using model builder could greatly ease the subsequent repeat analysis

Make your analysis easier: Add a custom toolbox in ArcMap

 Raster-vector conversion

Nov 13

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 11 - Work on Model Application to the Study Watersheds



Nov 20

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 12 - Complete Analysis of Current Conditions

Report draft 1 requirements - This first draft should include
1) the runoff volume and cost tables for your the 1" rainfall condition, in the format described in the project description, and
2) a base map showing the watersheds on a campus image




Turn in Wednesday, by the end of the day:

  • Report Draft 1 and data

You will most likely find it easiest to calculate a runoff "credit" for each of your rain gardens/surface infiltration areas, and underground storage features.  This credit is equal to the rain garden area in square meters, times 1.5 (maximum depth of rain garden, in meters), to calculate storage cubic meters of water. Your sum for the containing watershed should be reduced by this amount.  An underground storage feature is simply a point placed on a flowpath as near the outlet pourpoint as feasible, with an assigned maximum storage volume.

Note that the effective placement of rain gardens and underground storage requires they be on or near (a few meters) an existing flowpath.  Since flowpaths depend on the specific DEM, which in turn depends on the conditioning parameters, the DEM used in this analysis, along with corresponding flow accumulation, flow direction, and flowpaths are included in the finaldata directory on the L: drive. The flow1000 shapefile contains flowlines that drain 1000 1m cells or more. The ecDEM, ecfac, and ecfdir contain the DEM, flow accumulation, and flow direction rasters as tiffs, should you need them.

Also note that the rain garden must be downslope from a runoff generating area (impervious, building, saturated soil) in your watersh

Nov 27 - Analysis

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 13 -  Project work, modifications and analysis to mitigate runoff for prescribed rainfall amounts


Dec 4

Assignments Deadline Resources

Week 14 - Report Draft, and Continue Analysis Under Modifications

Report Draft 2 should include
1) your introduction (about 2 pages of text and not counting figures, 1.5 line spacing, 11 pt font or smaller) that briefly introduces the project, with a problem statement, location, goals, and basic approach, and supporting figures/maps,

2) a written description of results for your 1 and 2" rainfalls under current conditions, including the completed tables for both of these "as is" conditions, including a discussion and supporting figures/maps that identify areas that generate large amounts of runoff, and potential approaches for mitigation for these areas.

3) a map of at least two layers that have been modified to mitigate runoff, e.g., of canopy, or rain garden locations.  These may be "in progress", that is, the layers may only cover a subset of target watersheds, and be further modified to improve your runoff mitigation, but you must show substantial progress at this point.

 By Monday, at the Start of Class, Report Draft 2  

Dec 11

Assignments Deadline Resources
Week 15 - Work on final analysis and final report    

Dec 18

Assignments Deadline Resources

No class final; all assignments due by Wednesday, December 21, 1:30 pm

You should turn in three final geodatabases:

1) A geodatabase with the word "Current" in the name that contains data used for calculating your "current condition" runoff for 1" and 2" storms. These are the base final data, as provided, with any modifications to the main data layers.  The geodatabase should also include your final "surplus water" layer, that is, the layer that you summed by watershed to get the total runoff volume for the study areas. 

2) A geodatabase with "1inch" in the name, that includes the modified layers used to obtain your 1" mitigation of runoff. You should include both the original and modified layers for a 1" storm only, that is, the original canopy layer and the canopy layer with added trees for a 1" storm, and NOT the canopy layers  or any other layers for a 2" storm.  If you did not need to modify a layer to reach the 1" threshold (e.g., no green roofs required for buildings), then just include the original layer (e.g., the original buildings).
Include any of the modified layers from: a) canopy, b) rain gardens/surface storage, c)perviousness, d) buildings (with green roofs attributed), e) subsurface storage entry points.

3) Same as 2, except for the 2" rainfall, with "2inch" in the name of the geodatabase. DO NOT include any of the modified layers from the 1" analysis, but DO include your original data layers and any modified data layers needed to meet the 2" requirements.

Your final report should include the information provided in previous drafts, plus a description/discussion of the changes for reducing runoff to zero under the different rainfall amounts. This should include appropriate maps/figures.


Wednesday Dec 21, by 1:30 p.m., turn in your final report, via Moodle, and your copy your final data to the 4295Share\Z_FinalData\yourname subdirectory